Nigeria, AU criticised for hosting Sudan’s Bashir at summit
ADDIS ABABA – European Union lawmakers on Wednesday criticised the African Union (AU) and Nigeria for allowing Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir to attend a special summit on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria held in Abuja.
The EU delegation held talks with AU and Ethiopian officials on a number of national and continental concerns, as part of an official visit to Ethiopia.
Barbara Lochbihler, who led the delegation, said the AU’s position towards the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the failure of Nigeria to arrest Bashir undermines the work of the ICC and victims’ fight for justice.
The 54-member continental bloc has called on member states not to cooperate with the ICC arrest warrant for Bashir.
The Sudanese president left for Nigeria on Sunday, but cut short his visit the following day after calls for his arrest intensified.
Nigeria has also come under fire after the government refused to arrest Bashir and surrender him to the ICC.
However, Nigerian officials dismissed criticism, saying the Sudanese president was in Nigeria at the invitation of the AU and not as a guest of the federal government.
“President al-Bashir was in Nigeria under the auspices of the AU, based on the assembly’s decision to convene the special summit in Abuja to deal with three diseases that together constitute a heavy burden on member states”, a statement by the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
The ICC issued two arrest warrants against Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.